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Merrimack Valley

February 17, 2014

In Newburyport, flash mob protests violence

Suzanne Dubus, longtime of Haverhill, is center's director


This year’s flash mob is the second of what is anticipated to be an annual event in Newburyport, said Dubus. It was organized by many of the same activists from last year’s event, including Kimball, Dubus and Dubus’ sister-in-law, Fontaine Dubus, artistic director of Newburyport’s The Dance Place.

“Fontaine approached me and asked if I wanted to support her efforts in being a part of One Billion Rising here in Newburyport,” Kimball said of last year’s event. “We both wanted to do something and both wanted to be a part of bringing awareness to this organization.”

According to Kimball, she and Fontaine Dubus rushed last year to create a Newburyport flash mob when they heard about the movement just two months before its February 14th debut.

“People who can’t even go get water safely, women who can’t even leave their houses, that’s what motivated me,” Fontaine Dubus said. “And in the United States, too, the violence against women on campuses...it’s everywhere, it’s a daily struggle.”

Kimball estimated that she and Fontaine Dubus had taught the dance to between 150 and 200 people, but many did not appear in Saturday’s snowy weather. Suzanne Dubus estimated that about 400 people had attended the dance last year. She noted that bad weather and the unfortunate timing of school vacations played a role in this year’s smaller turnout.

“As much as I would love to have throngs of people watching, I think it’s equally powerful to have the people participating, so I’m happy with that,” she said.

Kimball shared in the enthusiasm for the dancers after the event.

“If you come out in the snow to do this, you’re totally into it. You totally made the commitment and it means something to you,” she said.

Suzanne Dubus encouraged those interested in joining future One Billion Rising events to find information at the Crisis Center’s website, jeannegeigercrisiscenter.org, or through The Dance Place at danceplacenbpt.com. Videos of this year’s events around the world will be available soon at onebillionrising.org.

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